Now that I’m about one week into our third stint in Norfolk, CT, it’s time to update and refine my objectives from go-around #2. Here’s what I wanted to accomplish last time:
1) Write 6,000 words per week specifically for one of my novels
2) Attend a weekly writer’s group
3) Listen to at least one Brandon Sanderson lecture on writing each week
4) Read at least five chapters of a novel every week
5) Complete 3 sets of PT exercises every day
6) Spend 20 minutes every day on physical exercise
7) Eat one salad every day that contains at least four colors of the rainbow
8) Meditate twice daily for 20 minutes each time
9) Spend 20 minutes every day reading or listening to spiritual material
10) Explore someplace new every week with my husband
I didn’t do so well, as I explained last week. But the good news is, now that I’m evaluating myself on a regular basis (i.e., every few months), I’m beginning to see where my true strengths and weaknesses are. For example, I have zero inclination to actually keep records of my diet and exercise habits.
I’ve solved the diet dilemma by going on another round of an elimination that I did three years ago to see if it will help with my sleep/lingering digestive issues. This means no grains, soy, dairy, refined sugar, eggs, or yeast for three weeks. When you take all those foods out of your diet, it’s so much easier to know what you’re putting in your body without having to keep a record. Plus, vegetables also then make up a huge component of the diet. It’s also oddly reinforcing as I feel pretty good and I don’t want to add a lot of the junk (i.e. sugar/gluten) back in.
Similarly, I invested in a Jawbone Up3, even though Jawbone is getting out of the fitness tracker industry, and that seems to have solved my problem of keeping track of exercise. Although I purchased the item to keep track of sleep (Up3 got the highest ratings for tracking light, deep, and REM sleep), I’m now being informed how many steps I’m taking every day so I can easily monitor my physical activity.
It’s also clear I’m just not good at keep tracking of anything other than word counts. So, to track the books I’m reading (including writing books, novels, picture books, and spiritual material), I’m going to start using Good Reads. It’s easily accessible on my phone and it will help me connect with other readers and writers out there.
Consistency also seems to be key for me in accomplishing a few of my objectives, like daily meditation, PT exercises and attending writers’ groups. Meditation has always worked really well for me early in the morning, so I’m going to stick with that. If I can get in an afternoon meditation session, then great, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t (that pretty much seems the opposite of why someone would meditate in the first place). I’m also going to try to work my 3 PT exercises in before I start writing in the morning. Some of them I can even stop and do on the stairs when I first wake up or while I’m waiting for the dogs to finish eating. My weekly writers’ group will be easier, because that will always be Wednesdays at 9am. But these objectives, I’m not going to actually keep track of. I know they’re there and I’m doing them.
I’m going to scrap my objective of watching a Brandon Sanderson lecture every week, simply because I’m already taking two different writing classes over the next few weeks, with a third one starting up this weekend. This way, if I do actually get around to watching some of these lectures (which I keep hearing are quite good), then I will feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit!
It also looks like I’m going to have to scrap going new places as an objective. My husband and I are struggling right now with the whole “explore a new place” every week given our schedules and the fact that it’s dark by 5:00pm here. We’re hoping that as spring approaches we’ll be able to get more out and about, but for the coming months it looks like we’re going to have let go of this goal.
That leaves writing! My favorite objective of all. I’m going to go back to 1000 words per day. Every day. Not even taking Sundays off. One thing I am going to change, however, is that once I finish my Fox Through the Forest story as part of Fiction Fridays, I’m going to start posting writing prompts on Fridays instead. This way, I can exercise different writing muscles and it will take significantly less time than creating, revising, and editing a chapter. That time can be better spent on my novels and picture books.
So, in sum, my objectives until April are:
1) Write 1000 words every day
2) Track the books I read using Good Reads
From ten objectives to two, both involving writing. I think I can handle that!